8:11AM Wash. Federal beats by $0.02 (WFSL) 14.89 : Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.31 per share, $0.02 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.29. Net income increased by 36% and earnings per share improved by 41%, driven primarily by lower credit costs. Credit related expenses, which include the provision for loan losses and charges related to real estate owned, were $21,779,000 for the quarter ended December 31, 2011, a decrease of $14,774,000, or 40%, from the same quarter one year ago. "We are very pleased to report the sixth consecutive quarter of improved earnings. Loan losses continued to decline, demand for foreclosed real estate increased noticeably, and improved economic conditions in virtually all of our markets were reported. Loan demand and revenue growth remain elusive, but it's a very good start to our new fiscal year." During the quarter the co closed two separate acquisitions. On October 14th, $254 million in deposits and six branch locations in New Mexico were acquired from the former Charter Bank. Two of the acquired branches are in Santa Fe and four are located in Albuquerque. On December 16th, the co entered into a transaction with the FDIC to acquire substantially all of the assets and liabilities of the former Western National Bank, headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona.